Do We Have Another Year With Super Mariota?

Marcus Mariota might be back in Eugene next year

Last night’s loss to the Buckeyes was a painful one that, as much as we would all love to forget, will not be erased from our minds any time soon. Despite golden opportunities handed to Marcus Mariota by the defense forcing four turnovers, they couldn’t capitalize against a strong Ohio State defense. So, is this the end of the Mariota era in Eugene? Have we seen the last of who many are calling the greatest Duck ever?

According to an ESPN.com report we may have not seen the last of super Mariota. After the game he was reported as saying, “There’s grad school, coming back another year to improve. There’s a lot of other things that could bring me back. It’s not just specifically this loss.” This may be nothing more than the nicest player in the country giving us fans some hope, softening the blow of the loss without reminding us we are losing him too. But, what if Mariota did return for his redshirt senior year?

True, it would be near impossible to duplicate, much less top, his performance this season. En route to winning the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, Davey O’Brien Quarterback Award, and Walter Camp player of the year Award (among others), Mariota lit up the stat sheet with 68.3% completion percentage, 4,454 yards, 42 touchdowns to four interceptions, and 770 yards with his legs. But, Mariota is a student of the game and knows that there is always more to learn, even for a Heisman winner.

Royce Freeman will be an important weapon next year

John Giustina

Royce Freeman will be an important weapon next year

Mariota will be losing key components of his offensive line next year as well as some of his weapons, but if this season taught us anything, it’s that the Ducks are always ready to have the next man up. Losses on the offensive line will be hard to overcome, but the Ducks should be able to retain most of their brightest stars, young players such as Royce Freeman, Devon Allen, Dwayne Stanford, and Darren Carrington.

Mariota has until Thursday to make his decision, and regardless of where he decides to continue his career next year we should all remember what an honor it was to watch him lead this Ducks squad through thick and thin into the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship.

Top Photo by John Giustina

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Max Thornberry

Max Thornberry

My name is Max Thornberry, and I am a sophomore at the University of Oregon studying journalism. I am from Ventura, CA but fell in love with Oregon when I visited last year and came to the Oregon vs. Cal game. I love sports and my hobbies mainly include fantasy baseball and football as well as playing sports video games. Growing up watching sports center and espn news I always wondered what I had to do in order to get a job where I got to talk sports every day, so when I saw an opportunity to intern for a sports news website (FishDuck.com) I couldn't wait to get involved.

  • MarcTheDuck

    Who wouldn’t want to have Marcus Mariota play for their team for one more year? But we would be very selfish to ask him to stay. And it would be a huge risk to his financial future if he stayed. A multi-million dollar gamble. No one has contributed more to the University of Oregon, as a player, than Marcus Mariota. He already made one big personal sacrifice when he came back for his junior year. He’s done everything any of us could have ever wanted. He’s done everything he can accomplish at the college level (short of a national championship – and he has had us in that neighborhood since he’s been here). He is better than probably any other college football player. If we begged him he probably would stay. That’s the kind of guy he is. But we would be very selfish to do so. It’s time for Marcus to move up to the next level and actually get paid commensurate with the value he brings to the game. The Greatest Duck of all time. But it’s time for us to let him go on to his future in the NFL. He’s too good (as a player and a person) to hold him back.